In September of 2010 the Boyink family from West Michigan passed their house keys over to a friend and hit the road with nüvi 3790 to begin a year of full-time travel in an RV. Here are some highlights, and you can follow them at http://boyinks4adventure.com:
2 adults and 2 teenagers living in 250 sq. ft for a year? Why?
Mainly because we could.
I've been self-employed for over 8 years and we've always homeschooled our two kids, now age 12 and 14. Some years ago it occured to my wife and I that the only real thing holding us in West Michigan was our house. From there it wasn't hard to come with the idea of ditching the house, buying an RV and hitting the road full time. We noodled around on the web and glanced at RV ads - but it was still just a pipe dream. Then our oldest son became a teenager, and suddenly the dream had an expiration date and we needed to act.
We moved into a research phase and ultimately decided we could afford a year of full-time travel without selling our house. After approximately 10 months of house & possession purging and a million other details we launched our adventure in September 2010.
Meet Mr. Ferguson
In The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain details the accounts of a group of Americans travelling through Europe. They hire local tour guides in each new location but can't be bothered to learn a new name each time so instead nickname every tour guide "Ferguson." With a nüvi 3790 (featuring voice activation) guiding us on our adventure it only seemed fitting to name it Ferguson as well. So where has Mr Ferguson led us to so far?
From our departure in Holland, Michigan we dipped down to Columbus, OH and back up along Lake Erie to Niagara Falls, then Lockport, NY to view the Erie Canal. From there we travelled through the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York including a walk through the beautiful gorge at Watkins Glen State Park. We continued east to Cooperstown, NY so our rabid baseball fan could visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.
By then the weather was starting to turn colder so we headed south to Quakerstown, PA where we found some mysterious and wonderful ringing rocks. We then visited Philedelphia to see Independance Hall, the Liberty Bell, and sample a genuine cheesesteak sandwich.
Keeping on with the history-related visits we spent a few days in Gettysburg, PA learning the history of the battle there. Then we toured Harpers Ferry in West Virginia before heading into Virginia where the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Trail meet.
We spent a fair amount of time in the Richmond, VA area teaching a class and discovering a love for mountain biking before a string of beach visits took us to Virgina Beach, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Hunting Island, SC and Savannah, GA. All along Mr Ferguson has been our constant guide. We've appreciated the EcoRoute features that help us track our fuel mileage, the voice-activation that speeds data entry, and overall how the unit lets us navigate strange territory. Having plenty of advance notice for route transitions is especially handy for us when we are towing the trailer as last-minute lane changes are not easy.
So - What's Next?
After an extended winter break housesitting for relatives, we're due back in Atlanta next week for a business engagement, from there we will be taking the advice of a friend and navigating by our socks. His advice? "Drive until you don't need them!" Whether that means heading to Florida for the planned Space Shuttle launch, or south by southwest into Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana remains to be seen!
"Speak a Command"